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Hot Russian Genius of Aerial Acrobatics

14. October 2010 by Michelle 0 Comments

Svetlana Kapanina completed medical school in 1987 and was looking for a hobby. The daredevil inside her suggested sky diving, so she began researching aerial sports and took a few classes. It didn’t take long for her hidden love of flying to flourish and she uncovered her natural ability for aerial acrobatics.


By 1991 Svetlana was a member of the Russian Aerobatic Joint Crew and by 1995 she graduated Kaluga Pilot’s School. She still planned on pursuing her career as a pharmacist, but her passion for her adrenaline-pumping pastime proved too powerful.


Svetlana quickly became a world air stunt champion and continues competing today. She contributes her success to great balance and a stellar sense of spatial orientation thanks to gymnastics classes, plus she has colossal confidence.


Nowadays there’s nothing that men can do that women can’t,” Svetlana says. “Everything is possible. Men’s and women’s pilots’ programs are identical. When we fly the judges don’t care who is sitting in the cockpit, a man or a woman. Their marks are not gender-driven.”


Svetlana’s favorite plane is the Russian-made SU-26, one of the best acrobatic planes in the world that’s normally flown by men. Her coach, Kasum Nazhmudinov, often praises the female phenom, saying, “In the last 30 years I’ve taught dozens of students. Many of them became champions. You can describe Svetlana in many ways. But in a nutshell, she’s a genius of aerial acrobatics. She’s above all others. The only one in history.”


She recently sat down for an interview with Russia Today to discuss why Russian women pilots are such a rarity, what needs to be done in Russia for sport aviation to get back its international status, and much more. View the video below.